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Adult Jazz
Institute of Contemporary Arts

Experimental four-piece Adult Jazz has been teasing a follow-up to their debut album Gist Is almost yearly since that record arrived, out of nowhere but fully formed, bright and beautiful in 2014. The cult status it’s attained since speaks to the playful sincerity it spun, grappling with a back-and-forth(-and-back) between religion, gender and desire; a conflict between liberation and tradition, language and communication; between frontman Harry Burgess’s sexuality and the teachings of 90s Christianity. But any thought of grandeur is mistaken. Burgess, speaking to the Guardian at the time, explains simply of the record’s theme, that “definitiveness can be painful.” 

Musically, Gist Is recalls the heavy but heavenly slow-motion of Arthur Russell, taut but expansive, with a purposeful arhythmic messiness, occasionally resolving into otherworldly falsetto. Laced with the same era-defining weird-pop sensibility of late ‘00s indie rock, Gist Is stood out from its peers, wrapped in musical circlets that disarmed and welcomed with every other beat.

This week, Adult Jazz announced ‘Dusk Song’, their first new music in eight years, an ululation of grief that settles somewhere in the thicket between Gist Is and follow-up EP Earrings Off. Burgess’s Meredith Monk-like vocalisations seed and spiral around Tim Slater’s brass drones. It’s a song that bears a cloying, sickening melancholy. The band, a creature caught in the searchlight, startled and comprehending.It's the first new music from a full-length album to be announced later this year.

Adult Jazz is Harry Burgess, Tim Slater, Steven Wells and Tom Howe.
Book tickets
07:30 pm
Thu, 24 Oct 2024


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